Dr. Robert T. Stroker was appointed Dean and Professor of Music Education at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in 2002, Vice Provost for the Arts in 2011, and in 2012 became Dean of the School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, which along with the Boyer College, is part of the Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts. Prior to his tenure Temple, Dean Stroker was Associate Dean, Head of Music Education, Chair of the Divisions of Music and Dance, and Director of the Meadows Percussion Ensemble at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
As Vice Provost for the Arts at Temple University, Dr. Stroker is committed to access, excellence and enhancing the quality of life through the arts. He has established Arts Grants for Research and Creative Achievement, a Vice Provost for the Arts Student Advisory Committee, and the Vice Provost for the Arts Lunchtime Series featuring interactive faculty presentations for members of the Temple community.
Dean Stroker provided the vision for the creation of The Arts and Quality of Life Research Center. The Center promotes research, training and innovative programs that demonstrate the unique role of the arts in improving lives. To this end, it focuses on exploring uses of creative arts to enhance human functioning developmentally, intellectually, psychologically, socially, physically, aesthetically and spiritually.
As an advocate for new music, Dean Stroker has commissioned numerous works for the Boyer College. Three of these commissions have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the “Best Instrumental Composition” category: fourth stream...La Banda and Overture, Waltz and Rondo by Grammy-winning composer Bill Cunliffe, and Music of Ansel Adams: America by legendary jazz artist Dave Brubeck and his son Chris Brubeck. Other commissions include: Constant Renaissance by six-time Grammy-winning composer/arranger, Vince Mendoza; UNITED, by Daniel Schnyder; Luck be a Lady, arranged by Michael Abene; Reflections on the Mississippi by Grammy Award winning composer Michael Daugherty; Northern Lights by Ēriks Ešenvalds; and The Heart’s Light by Bill McGlaughlin. Several of these commissions received world premieres at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.
Dean Stoker founded Boyer’s in house recording label, BCM&D Records, for which he serves as producer. More than 30 recordings have been released on the label, including the three Grammy nominated commissions noted above. As Director of the award-winning Meadows Percussion Ensemble from 1993-2002, he released several recordings on Gasparo Records.
Dean Stroker has presented papers and lectures at numerous music and higher education conferences throughout the United States and Europe, as well as Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. He has been a guest clinician/conductor/adjudicator at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, World Association of Symphonic Bands and College Band Directors National Association. He has published extensively on the topics of music education and pedagogy.
Dean Stroker has presented many workshops and master classes at international and national music conferences and festivals throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. He also served as guest conductor and consultant for the Conservatory Band of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Early in his career, he was principal percussionist with the Lansing Michigan Symphony Orchestra.
As a former public school music teacher in Michigan, Dean Stroker was instrumental in developing a middle school music curriculum. He has taught music performance, music education, conducting and performance at undergraduate and graduate levels at Penn State University, University of Michigan-Flint, Michigan State University and Southern Methodist University.
Dean Stroker is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Advocacy Award from the American Music Therapy Association, Penn State University Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni Award, International Musiktage Vocklabruck Award and Singing City’s 60th Year Celebration Award.